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Do You Call Yourself a Blogger?

Posted By Darren Rowse 7th of February 2008 Video Posts 0 Comments


This might sound like a strange question for someone behind a site called ProBlogger to be asking – but do use the word ‘blogger’ to describe what you do? In this post I want to explore some reasons why I’m using the term less.

In short there are three reasons why I’m using the term ‘blogger’ less and less to describe (and think about) what I do:

1. Your Competitors Don’t Limit Themselves – Why Should You? – to think that you’re competing just with other blogs can actually limit the potential that your web publishing might have. I spoke to one blogger recently who told me that he had one of the biggest blogs going around in his niche – he spoke as though he’d ‘made it’. I congratulated him but then pointed out three other sites in his niche (a review site, a forum and a news site) which had significantly bigger traffic than him (according to Alexa).

2. Your Readers Don’t Really Care What Format Your Site is – I’ve lost count of the conversations that I’ve had with friends who tell me that they’ve never read a blog before – but whom when I question them about the sites that they read find that they read blogs everyday week without knowing it. As bloggers and web savvy people we are often very tuned in to what type of site a site is – however most web users couldn’t care less and read sites not because of their format but because it meets a need for them in some other way.

3. Positioning Yourself for the Future – blogs have had a ‘cool’ factor about them for a year or three now – but there are constantly new types of websites constantly being developed. More and more we’re seeing bloggers morph with other types of websites. While they continue to have a blogging component – they’ve been adding forums, social networks, bookmarking, newsletters and other mediums to them.

Let me say before ending that there’s nothing wrong with calling yourself a blogger or even marketing your blog as a ‘blog’ – however there are good reasons to explore stepping out of this mindset also.

What do you think? Do you call yourself a blogger? Why? Why not?

I’m looking forward to some good discussion.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
Comments
  1. Interesting conversation!

    I, too, dislike the term blog: a couple years ago I went to a talk by Chicago Tribune cultural editor Julia Keller, who described the word “blog” as “unfortunate.” It reminded her of something you might expell onto a Kleenex and then dispose of as quickly as possible…

    “Web publisher” — that’s more like it!

    Clare,
    (no longer blogging at Always Advent. Now web publishing instead. Thanks, Darren! Love your Australian accent!)

  2. I guess it’s pretty true what you have said on readers don’t really care about the format of information that the sites are in.

    What bloggers missed out is the fact that The Internet isn’t just about blogs. That’s the problem when a phenomenem gets too big that it overshadowed other equally important sites.

    Regards
    Repmarc from http://la-critic.blogspot.com

  3. To not limit myself to any one thing, I call myself a ‘New Media Marketer’ that way whatever comes up in the future, it will be considered new media all I have to do is stay up to date the with benefits of it.

    I also hardly ever refer to myself as a blogger (noun) but rather that blogging (verb) is a very tangible/sellable skill that falls under my title, alongside many other relevant skills.

  4. I could never and still do not use the term blog. I have always thought of myself as a website publisher. I agree that a person may be limiting themselves with the label of blog or blogger; however, for many, some are content to only publish articles and have no interest in online advertising. To each his/her own.

  5. So much great info, thanks. Even though I blog to market, my blog also has the purpose of passing on useful knowledge, just like this one, lol.

  6. ABSOLUTELY! I have has been contracted by many clients to blog since 2005. Our portfolio of clients are in the fashion industry, interior design field, infant market, film industry, and corporate public relations.

  7. Oh no! Another interesting post!

    Funny you should bring this up. To some people I’m introduced as a blogger – this is no problem for me, but, I’ve been questioning whether I really am a blogger.

    I had a brief discussion about whether bloggers are journalists with a journalist on my blog the other day. Apparently I’m not a journalist because what I write could be pure imagination, whereas journalists only write facts…

    Not sure about this, but anyway. This guy intimated that bloggers were a bit like columnists, only without the sophisticated prose (again, not sure about this – lots of bloggers do write very well)

    In some respects I agree that many bloggers are really ‘columnists’.

    But, what the heck. I don’t care what I’m called, I like what I do and I hope the enthusiasm reaches my readers and thus builds my site into a type of one-man magazine that is supported by site generated revenue.

    In fact, I reckon, in may respects, ProBlogger is more an interactive online magazine than a blog. And this is the way I want my site to go too.

  8. There are very few people I would call bloggers. Most of those who say they are bloggers are a hybrid of blog and splog. A blogger, to me, is still someone using weblog software to create art, write a journal or some combination of those on a personal level.

    The traffic and readers are a fun side effect, not the point of the whole thing. I have seen many so called bloggers who are obsessed with seo and monetizing to the point where the blog content has been left to rot or is stolen from others. I’d be glad to see blogging be left to fall back to what it began as, something fun and creative.

  9. You know reading this it has occured to me that my main website @ http://www.kasterborous.com is to all intents and purposes a blog – we just don’t refer to it in that way.

    Personally speaking, as someone up there said, I refer to myself as a freelance writer and web developer (although of late I’ve been working more as a web developer than a writer, for some reason).

    Excellent topic for discussion Darren, eye opening as always.

  10. I would welcome LESS use of the word “blog” or “blogging” or “blogger”, especially when a lot of the sites are more than that (they have other aspects to them). I would call those a “website”. Plus, I just don’t like the sound of the word “blog”, I guess……

  11. Great video post Darren, I like to think of myself as a blogger, after all I run a handful, but I have some other regular websites, so I guess a fair term would be either “web publisher,” as you finely put it or as I prefer “internet entrepreneur.”

  12. I have thought of myself as an ‘internet publisher’ for several years now. I started out with websites well before blogs and I use blogging software like WordPress as I would any other CMS.

    I think blogging became such a powerful term because it was a convenient point of convergence for several key technologies.

    1. RSS (and feed readers)
    2. PHP – cheap, reliable, efficient server-side scripting
    3. MySQL – cheap, reliable, efficient database

    Wrap this up in a nice package and you have a dirt cheap database driven website that anyone can operate update as easily as typing a letter. Eight years ago, this was out of reach for most.

  13. I’ve NEVER called myself a blogger although many of my websites use or include a blog format.

    I normally say I’m an Internet Marketer, writer, teacher, or just I have websites.

  14. I often been asked “what are you doing?” or “what is your jobs?” Each time, i answered “Web content management” or “web content manager” .

    I believe they got smal figure what it was all about. Then usually they asked “so, you manage a website?” and I say “you can say so”

  15. I’d say that you are definitely expanding your potential without just using the term Blog or Blogger. I still use that to describe myself, but I am going to shift from that after your words here.

    Although I do not make any money doing what I do, I do have fun and when people ask what I do I say I blog. Since I am actually a film critic, I think that may be a more suitable title. However, no one likes a critic so web publisher sounds great too. Thanks for the advice.

  16. It took me awhile before I called myself a blogger, well after I was blogging on group and corporate blogs in 04 and branching out on my own blog in late 05. But it stuck, and it’s still relevant to people. I was just guest blogging at a conference the other day, and marketers were genuinely interested in talking to a blogger because it meant that I inherently got blogging, and much more about social media by default. Most importantly, being a blogger by name helps connect me with other bloggers out there.

  17. I describe me as partial time blogger, explaining what I do in my blog, about my posts and my mission. Everybody I tells get wondered knowing that you can earn money online from your home.

  18. Great question…I consider my self an entrepreneur that runs a blog that is evolving into more than just a blog. Hopefully a resource or portal. But really I consider myself an entrepreneur that blogs about entrepreneurs.

    Rob West:)

  19. Hello Darren, I have found your site very useful setting up my blog. Thanks for the info.

    I don’t call myself anything. I’ll leave that to others. I do what I do because I love doing it. If I didn’t I’d soon give it up. Blogging is just how I tell people what I do or am. It wouldn’t matter what it is called.

    If someone asks me what I do I might tell them I run a blog, or a website. It’s a question of what people understand. If Garbo or God described what I do I’d say that. Whatever defines it to the listener.

    The reason to call yourself anything is to set yourself apart, which is what a ‘blogger’ was (and still is), apart. For some perceived gain, expression, feedback, status, position, money, etc.

    Then the time comes when the field you’ve set yourself apart in, the name, is no longer enough and you have to call yourself something else to keep up with the need to identify, or gain more.

    Whatever you call yourself the day will come when you will call yourself something else. The trouble is the name is not what you are and the need to define yourself is endless. Even superman got unhappy with his lot.

    It comes down to what you can get by changing what you call yourself. Self interest rules. Whatever you call yourself will be a limitation on your potential.

    But I see the point, people are ‘blogging’ the question.

  20. Darren,
    I agree with you. I consider myself as a web publisher, rather than a blogger, which opens up my perspective.
    God Bless.

  21. I’ve just started my blog. I’m a consumer specialist writing about baby boomer issues. I have referred to myself as the Boomer Consumer Blogger. I’ll have to see how it goes. Maybe I’ll call myself a blogger. Maybe I won’t. I’m sure having fun blogging.

  22. It’s funny because I just watched your video this morning, but last night I was at a birthday party for one of my young son’s friends. Several of the parents that I met for the first time asked me what I did for a living. Since I am involved in several website projects, I told them that essentially I was a “Web Publisher.” Of course that lead to several follow-up questions, which was a great way for me to network about my various sites, and, hopefully, get some new subscribers.

    I really enjoyed your perspective on this, and I couldn’t agree more with your point of view. Thanks!

  23. Again, Daren, you’ve taught me something else I can use. Before hearing your audio, I told people I publishe on the web. I felt guilty using the word “pubisher” because my blog (I’ll start calling it a site now), is less than a few months old and the income from AdSense ads is negligible. And I loved your thought of publishing “web properties.” Sure, why stop at one. Hearing your opinion is a lovely way to end the weekend. Thanks.

  24. Great video and post on this topic, Darren. I definitely agree on this point and believe that we are much more than “bloggers.” Through our blogs, most of us wear many hats and do many things simultaneously. We entertain, we inform, we educate, we build communities, the list goes on and on. In essence, we help shape the entire online world.

    We help companies bring their good products/services to market by propelling them further into the spotlight, just as we help them to improve upon those products/services by publishing our thoughts, opinions and experiences with them for all to see. So in essence, we’re also helping to shape the entire offline world as well.

    All this involves and encompasses much, much more than what “blogging” did when it originally came into existence way back when, which is why I’d have to agree that labeling ourselves solely as “bloggers” is indeed quite limiting.

    The future of blogging is wide, wide open. And so, too, should be our way of defining it…and ourselves.

    Shine on,
    Aaron

  25. I started blogging before it was cool, so heck yeah!

  26. violet says: 02/11/2008 at 3:38 pm

    so, I am a student doing a large paper on blogging mostly from a political standpoint. I stumbled upon this article and all of your replys and learned a lot more of what bloggers would and wouldn’t like to be called.
    I have always loved reading blogs mostly because they crack me up and give me some extremely interesting reading material (part of my downfall of this paper cuz i get so sidetracked reading stuff).
    But, I was hoping that you as bloggers could help me by giving me some ideas, from your point of view, on why bloggers blog and why it is such a good idea.
    Some, I realize, simply provide good conversation, some are used as a way to pass on info that might be useful to others, and some are just making money telling their opinion. But what else? My friend says she blogs because she finds it therapeutical. Do you?
    Any and all imput would be helpful especially from a bloggers opinion. Thanks so much!

  27. I often find myself referring to my site as “website” as it seems like most people are more familiar and be able to associate with website rather than blog.

    Well, if my audience are students and the younger generation, I will add on to say that it’s a blog as it is something that is fashionable to them.

    Personally, I dont call myself a blogger as I have yet to do it on a full time basis. I see my sites, some of which as platforms for me to document my thoughts and learning experiences for myself and at the same time for the rest of the world who might find them useful.

    Cheers!

    Darren: Tks for sharing the perspectives of wideinng our potential in the field of blogging/web publishing

  28. violet says: 02/11/2008 at 4:16 pm

    my question was just answered with the post “Why do you Blog?” that I only just found.
    great answers there that are really going to help me.
    If anyone wants to add anything that’d be great but my question was answered pretty well. Thanks tho :)

  29. Thought-provoking. It’s got me to thinking that perhaps most blogs have outgrown the term (we)blog. Perhaps we’ll see the introduction of a new nomenclature (there’s a job for you, Darren). I’m always in two minds as to how to refer to my own web-space; is it a blog; is it a web site, and edu-site…?

    I guess you’ve already bought pro-web-publisher.com :) Another great video, and I have all the more to think about for watching it.

  30. I call myself both a writer and a blogger. It actually was kind of exciting to refer to myself as a blogger, as I put off starting a blog for some time.

    For me blogging and writing articles, and journaling can be very therapeutic at times. It gets the stuff out of my head and onto the computer screen, and then into my posts, so I don’t have to keep thinking about it or remembering it. Even if it’s something no one ever sees. Nothing else seems to get those words out of my head, like my pounding on the keyboard, or writing in longhand.

    But that brings me to a question, that might be somewhat off topic to this discussion.

    Many people recommend writing to a specific niche. Can’t that be somewhat limiting as well?

    My blog started out to be about Affiliate Marketing, now it’s got posts about my two cats, writing, crafts, whatever I feel like writing about.

    I find it difficult to believe that some Affiliate Marketers might not also be pet owners. And some writers might not enjoy crafting. Or that Some Affiliate Marketers also like to write.

    Which goes back to this discussion about limiting ourselves. So even though it’s what most people recommend, I don’t seem to be able to write for only a specific targeted niche audience, so far, and I’m not yet ready to start separate blogs for each different topic I might want to write about.

    I like writing about whatever I want to write about, when I feel like writing it. I like writing about different topics. In school I had to write about whatever topic the teacher assigned me. At Article Sites, I have to make sure to follow their publishing guidelines.

    But on my own blog I love being able to write about whatever might come to mind. I don’t have to concern myself as much with minimum/maximum word lengths. I don’t have to be as picky about grammar and spelling, as I try to be with my submitted articles.

    Now I view blogging as being very freeing and very empowering for myself. Now I wonder why I waited so long to start a blog of my own.

  31. My official job title is Editor, even though I’m really a blogger.
    The blog reads like a news site, so adopting journalistic titles like “Editor” is really natural. I hear ya on being a limiting term, Darren, but it’s also a focused one. I studied in school to write, and now I get to – I don’t want to do website design, or community management, or any of the other jobs within arm’s reach of blogging. What title you take is really dependent on the range of work you do on your blog.

    As for what I tell other people, I say “I write for a website”. I agree with resin that the word “blogger” sounds odd to those not in the sphere.

  32. Well to be honest I don’t that often. I tell some folks I have blogs and write for them, but in reality I do a bunch of things so no one tag seems to fit the bill. For certain the old one of webmaster seems long gone. That seems antiquated now.

    I blog but am I a blogger? Hmm on Tuesdays I am a blogger for sure. The other days I wear other hats too.

  33. i’m a musician who’s kept an online journal since May 1998 but have come to embrace the term “blogger”.

    very good question, though. as i get the same thing when i tell friends and relatives in RL that i am a blogger.

    “web publisher” is a very good term and has a more broader, versatile meaning for what we do online.

  34. As a blogger in the world of film journalism, I have always been torn over this very topic. You are right, there is still a very ‘cool’ factor to strutting yourself as a blogger, especially one that can survive as a full-time blogger.

    Then again, in the world of movie studios, there is a serious taboo to being labeled a “blogger”. Movie studios look down on online outlets and reporters to begin with, but show serious disdain to bloggers. They site the fact that bloggers can be irresponsible with sensitive information, erratic and uncontrollable. They prefer the very controlled, traditional style of media presented by magazines, newspapers and major television networks.

    Thankfully the legions of movie fans seem to be migrating online, forcing the studios to have to deal with bloggers as we are the ones reaching their audience. My hope is that as a new generation of leadership comes into the studio system in Hollywood that we will see more change, but for now calling myself a “blogger” is not always the best thing to do, as it may cost me reputation points with those who control the information I need in order to make my blog run.

  35. For the longest time I have struggled to tell people what a blog is. Nobody who isn’t tech savvy really understands, so I just refer to blogs as websites now whenever I speak with someone who isn’t actually a blogger. I definitely agree that it isn’t wise to pigeon hole yourself by calling yourself a blogger, and the title of “web publisher” has always made more sense to me. The title of blogger doesn’t sound nearly as serious or professional as “web publisher” in my opinion.

  36. Terrific Perspective!
    So much of what we do is determined by our perspective of what we do, and who we are. If we limit our perspective, we limit our results. Thanks Darren for a very encouraging and educational perspective!

  37. Darren, I agree with your comments about what we as bloggers…call ourselves and like you have been tending to lean toward the term ‘online writer’ these days. Blogging is afterall, mostly writing and require well honed writing skills.

    However, when I also consider that I currently have over 25 blogs on the go, I suppose I am somewhat of a web publisher as well.

    I think the ‘blogger’ label has a connotation that is very well accepted in some areas, not accepted in others, or in many cases, just not understood by the general public. I still have people ask me what a blog is even though to us the term is quite commonplace and well understood.

    I also agree that we need to be careful not to limit ourselves into thinking as a blogger and possibly missing the next web development because maybe it doesn’t seem to be blog related.
    However, having said all that, I still in many situations refer to myself as a blogger. It is not a term to be taken lightly and I think does to some extent set us apart from the crowd, the website publishers and others who may not have the writing skills etc required to be a true blogger, but are still able to produce excellent websites.
    Over the last couple of years blogging has gained some ground and some voices of distinction are starting to be heard. Here in Canada one of the television networks produced a show called Test The Nation where they posed a series of questions about the world etc that you could answer at home. They also had teams of folks in the studio answering the same questions. One team was made up of bloggers…guess who won? The bloggers of course.

    It is that kind of exposure that makes blogging much more mainstream, which is where we need to be. As far as it becoming a passing fancy, I doubt it. Books have never gone out of fashion, nor have magazines. The benefit of blogging, and the problem with it, is the ease of which anyone can become a blogger. That tends to minimize the value of the job, but at the same time allows anyone a chance to be heard. As much as I might hate to think it, to some degree that is why making an income from a blog might be most important in terms of distinquishing the professional from the amateur.

    Blogs, good quality blogs, like your own, that add value to the web should last a long, long time. At the same time, hopefully the less useful blogs will eventually dry up and blow away.

    Well..I apologize, I didn’t intend for my comment to become a blog post all of it’s own. I enjoy Problogger. Please keep up the good work!

    Robert Parker
    http://adsensemakesyoumoney.blogspot.com

  38. Since blogging is not my primary profession, I hardly ever get to call myself a ‘blogger’. I do consider myself one though, just like an office worker who hunts in his spare time calls himself a ‘hunter’.

    Normally, though, people would not refer to me as a ‘blogger’.

    Recently, though, I’ve been caught up in blogging that I would be proud to call myself a ‘blogger’.

  39. For me there is a divide between being a blogger and ‘web publisher’. Blogger sounds more cool, intriguing, trendy, but to me and my friends it sounds more like a hobby. Although introducing the word blogger to someone who hasn’t heard of the term, seems to draw them in. Whereas web publisher sounds boring and less interesting, but more professional sounding title. So it depends on who’s asking!

  40. I’m a writer and a publisher. I think the blog has more potential than what we’ve seen so far… I’m not so quick to dismiss it. It’s helping to improve my writing and get to know who I’m writing for…

    However, I do think it’s funny that the first time I visit your site, your talking about being something besides a blogger and how the blog is passe.

  41. sarah says: 02/14/2008 at 2:40 pm

    It is certainly difficult to call yourself a true blogger these days with so many blogs out there. I have had some great success in monetizing my blog using Muvar to ensure I am using the best variables to ensure sales. I guess in that regard I don’t care if anyone considers me a blogger everyone has their own style and mine is working out for me.

  42. I am new to blogging, a very recent interest infected in me by my friends. As I am new, I am slowly learning this. At this point, I will not call myself a blogger though I write articles. I find the question asked by you very interesting. Value added blogs, I think, add more zest to reading.

  43. Here in Austin, there are quite a few people who call themselves “visionaries.” There are also “evangelists”, but these go beyond blogging. For me, I just see myself as a “co-conspirator.” I have no idea why.

    The newer technologies out there allow us to involve others so much more in our ideas. The term “blogger” indicates the “I talk, you listen” mentality. Since social and multimedia elements are becoming better incorporated into blogs, a blog is becoming a platform rather than a specific activity.

  44. No I donot agree with you. Blogging and web publishing is totally different. The only thing of concern is that blogging gets immediate attention but web publishing takes time.

  45. Sarah, every one has own style and do not bother what people are saying. Carry on the way you want. Self satisfaction is the main thing.

  46. I am just a part time blogger, I think a full time blogger should be called a blogger, a part time blogger should be called a blooger.

  47. Hi, Darren! Web publisher sounds great to me! Now: what about “e-publisher”? Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
    Happy Valentine’s!!

  48. I consider myself more of a website developer. Even though all my sites are build using WordPress I feel that I am building up and developing websites rather than blogs.

  49. I prefer to call myself a Superblogger. Actually, I like to add the prefix “Super” to every thing I do. That means I am a “SuperFriend,” “SuperEater, “SuperAirBreather,” the list goes on and on. Maybe it sounds silly to you, but it makes me feel pretty darn good about myself. … BRIAN OUT

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